Game 120. Sweep the Mets, Sweep the Mets, step right up and Sweep the Mets!

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I hope I don’t have to pay copyright infringement on the Mets’ theme song. LOL.

The Yanks swept the Subway Series from the Mets, 7-5 tonight, to improve to 65-55. 4 back of Boston in the AL East, still in control of the top wild card spot.

They face Boston in Fenway this weekend.

Gary Sanchez drove in 5 runs.

In the first, he hit a 3-run HR. (22)

In the fourth, Tyler Austin (just called up b/c Garrett Cooper was put on the DL w/a hamstring problem) singled. Austin was 2 for 4 tonight. Torreyes singled and Severino was called upon to bunt. Even though he popped up the bunt, it was missed, and Severino got his first MLB hit to load the bases with no one out. Gardner doubled in two. Hicks grounded out softly, no advance. Judge was HBP to reload the bases and Sanchez singled in two to put the Yanks up 7-0.

The Mets got an unearned run in the seventh on a two-base error by Judge, WP by Severino (brilliant tonight) and RBI single.

So the Yanks took a 7-1 lead into the ninth. Garbage time for Bryan Mitchell, who was garbage, getting no one out. Double, Single, Walk loads the bases and Ex-Yankee Curtis Granderson hits a grand slam to make it 7-5 and send Mitchell out, Betances in, and Betances finishes off the sweep of the Metropolitans.

Severino 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, unearned, 4 H, 3 W, 9 K. (W, 10-5, 3.18)
Shreve 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 2.70
Mitchell 0 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. 4.67 Gave up a grand slam.
Betances (S, 8) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W 0 K 2.15.

Imagine how scary Aaron Judge (3 K tonight) could be if he cut his strikeouts by 25-30%????

Gardner 2 RBI
Sanchez 2 hits, HR (22), 5 RBI
Gregorius 2 hits, .311
Austin 2 hits.

 

 

Minor League Report. Bird starts rehab (again). Sensley powers Charleston.

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AAA: SWB lost the completion of Tuesday’s suspended game, 9-4. 3 hits, solo HR 1B Tyler Austin. 2B Donovan Solano 2 hits. 3B Miguel Andujar 2 hits, RBI.

German (L, 4-2, 3.26) 5 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Mantiply 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.16
Jones 2/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.92
Feyereisen 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.43

SWB (77-45) lost the regularly scheduled game 4-1. Greg Bird started his rehab from the operation on that ankle bone, went 0 for 2 with a strikeout. SWB only got five hits in the game. Chance Adams had a rare (for him this year) off night.

Adams (L, 9-4, 2.56) 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. (AA/AAA 13-4, 2.16)
Rumbelow 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00

AA: Trenton (79-42) won 8-7. DH Ryan McBroom 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI. Same for LF Zack Zehner. Solo HR 3B Abiatal Avelino. 2 hits apiece for CF Jeff Hendrix, 2B Nick Solak and SS Thairo Estrada, with Estrada adding an RBI. 2 RBI 1B Mike Ford.

Koerner 5 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 2 K. 4.25  Gave up 1 HR.
Espinal (W, 2-0, 1.74) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Reeves (S, 1) 2 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 0.00

High A: Tampa rained out.

Low A: Charleston (67-54) won 5-2. They were down 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth, but RF Steven Sensley hit a grand slam in the five-run inning.

Garcia 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 6 K. 2.09
Bristo (W, 1-0, 2.70) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Hodson (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.00

Game 119. Didi wins game, 5-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

He may be the most underrated SS in the majors right now. He is hitting .308-18-58, has played great defense and missed what, the first 3 weeks of the season? Give him those weeks, he’d have 20+ HR right now, a .300 average, and over 40 games to go.

Didi Gregorius took over for a legend and should be considered as the All-Star he has become. His two-run double in the seventh won tonight’s game over the Mets, 5-3.

The win puts the Yanks at 64-55, and keeps them 4 1/2 back of Red-hot Boston right now. They still control the top wild card spot.

The Mets struck for a run in the first. The Yanks tied it in the second when the Mets gifted the Yanks a run. Headley walked, went to 2nd on a WP, 3rd on a PB and scored on a groundout. Thanks, Mets.

The Yanks took the lead in the fourth. Aaron Judge hit a 457 ft. bomb into the third deck at Citi Field, HR #37, to put the Yanks up. He had his first multi-hit game since July 18, but did strike out once in the game, setting a MLB record for most consecutive games striking out.

The Mets tied it in the fifth on a HR.

The Yanks got a single by Judge and a couple of walks to load the bases in the top of the sixth. A SF by Headley put the Yanks up 3-2 but the Mets tied it in the bottom of the inning.

The decisive runs came in the top of the seventh. The igniter, the “Mighty Mite”, Ronald Torreyes, doubled. After Girardi correctly played littleball and Gardner (PH for pitcher) bunted him to third, Ellsbury and Hicks walked to load the bases. Judge popped up, AAARGH! but Didi picked him up with a two-run double that was the game-winning hit.

A friend asked me about my managerial strategy. I am glad Girardi listened. I said Warren forG two innings, and D-Rob to close. No Betances (needs a day off) and no Chapman (confidence? Needs to clear his head).

So I called it. LOL

Garcia 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 3 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.52
Kahnle (BS, 5; W, 2-3, 2.27)  2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Warren (H, 10) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.73
Robertson (S, 14) 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.25

Some recent baseball passings & a retirement:

Paul Casanova: C, mostly known as the Washington Senators C in the late 1960s. In 1967, finished 21st in MVP voting and an All-Star with a .248-9-53 season. 162 g. average for his career? .225-9-48, OPS+ 65. As you can see, didn’t hit much. Washington 1965-1971, Atlanta 1972-1974.

Danny Walton, OF. Houston 1968. Seattle Pilots 1969 (only Pilots season before moving and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970). Milwaukee 1970-1971, Yankees (for only 5 games) 1971. Minnesota 1973, 1975. Dodgers 1976, Astros 1977. Rangers 1980. Only season 100 or more games: 1970 Brewers, .257-17-66, OPS+ 117. Good year. 162 G. average, .223-15-58, OPS+ 90.

Don Gross. LHP. Reds, 1955-1957. Pittsburgh 1958-1960.   20-22, 3.73 in his career, ERA+ 108. Average 162 G. season: 7-8, 3.73, 4 saves as a spot starter/long reliever.

Jered Weaver announced his retirement today. Weaver was 150-98 in his career, Angels 2006-2016 & 2017 Padres. A 3x All-Star, he was 5th for ROY in 2006, 5th for the CYA in 2010, runnerup for it in 2011, and 3rd for it in 2012. He finished 22nd for MVP in 2012.

2011: 18-8, 2.41, ERA+ 156.
2012: 20-5. 2.81 ERA+ 135.

He was 2-1, 2.60 in the postseason, 4 starts, 3 relief. He pitched in 3 games against the Yankees in the 2009 ALCS, 0-0, 4.26.

His 162 G. average was 15-10, 3.63, ERA+ 111. Solid starter. He led the AL in wins with 20 in 2012 and 18 in 2014.

 

 

 

Minor League Report. Bird starts rehab today, Castro soon.

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Greg Bird begins his rehab today (Wednesday) and Starlin Castro is expected to do so on Friday.

AAA: SWB’s game was suspended because of rain. It’ll be completed today with the regularly scheduled game then following (Bird should be in that one). SWB was losing 5-2 in the fifth at the time of the suspension.

AA: Trenton (78-42) gave up 2 in the top of the 11th and lost 6-4. 2B Nick Solak 4 hits, 2 doubles, triple, 2 RBI. SS Thairo Estrada 3 hits, 2 RBI. CF Jeff Hendrix 2 hits.

Carter 3 2/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 3 K. 3.18
Pena 2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1.50
Gomez 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1.57
Carroll (L, 1-5, 3.10) 2 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 3 K.

High A: Tampa (75-46) won 8-2. LF Devyn Bolasky 3 hits, HR shy of the cycle, 3 RBI. C Donny Sands 2 hits, RBI. 2 hits 2B Kyle Holder. 2 RBI CF Trey Amburgey. Tampa pitchers K’d 12.

Hebert 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 4 K. 6.32
Frare (W, 1-2, 4.57) 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 6 K. Nice.
Frawley 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.35

Low A: Charleston (66-54) lost 2-1. C Ryan Lidge (cousin of former MLB closer Brad Lidge) 2 hits, RBI.

Nelson (L, 2-10, 4.67) 5 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 5 W, 8 K.
Diehl 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. 3.51
DeCarr 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 W, 0 K. 5.87

Game 118. Gray seals it, but Chapman almost unseals it in a 5-4 Yanks’ win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Pardons to Elton John for the headline.

The Yanks have a problem on their hands. That problem is Aroldis Chapman and a second problem may be Joe Girardi’s stubbornness right now.

Sonny Gray pitched well, six shutout innings before yielding a 2-run HR in the seventh. Still, the Yanks took a 5-2 lead into the ninth, when Chapman gave up a 2-run HR to make things shaky before the Yanks finished off the Mets 5-4.

Chapman is a problem right now. As I wrote a few days ago, the Yanks have three closers. They can go with the hot hand, something Girardi mentioned sarcastically a few days ago in saying “Chapman is my closer. What am I supposed to do, go with the hot hand?”

Yes, Joe, that is exactly what we want you to do. We also want you to leave relievers performing well in for more than one inning. For you almost blew another game tonight. 

The Yanks scored first, getting a run in the third on a Torreyes double, Gardner sac bunt and Hicks single. Good. Nice to see some littleball with the bunt there.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a 2-run HR (6) in the fourth to make it 3-0.

Gary Sanchez homered in the sixth (21) to make it 4-0. Gray gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh,  but the Yanks made it 5-2 in the eighth on a SF by Sanchez.

Then in came Chapman who almost blew the game. Why not leave Betances throw a second inning. Why not use Warren (Robertson could use the day off). But no, the “he’s my closer” stubbornness mentality almost cost the Yanks a ballgame.

You just knew when Chapman came in tonight that this wasn’t going to go smoothly.

Aaron Judge struck out for the 32nd straight game, tying a MLB record, but he did have a key double and then scored that fifth run.

Gray (W, 7-7, 3.37) 6+ IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle (H, 11) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.30. Threw just 10 pitches. What, he can’t go two?
Betances (H, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.20. Threw 19 pitches. He couldn’t go two?
Chapman (S, 16) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.89. That save rule is a joke.

Happy the Yanks won. Unhappy Girardi is so inflexible with his thinking.

UPDATE: Chapman was pretty down after the game. Not as confident as previously. It could be getting to him. On the final play, he appeared to tweak his hammy a bit.

Cessa went on the DL. Smith back up.

Minor League Report.

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AAA SWB & AA Trenton off. So was Low A Charleston.

High A: Tampa (74-46) won 4-2. DH Chris Gittens 2-run HR. SS Hoy Jun Park & 2B Gosuke Katoh each had 2 hits and an RBI.

Keller (W, 4-2, 2.70) 6 IP, 1 R, 8 H, 0 W, 8 K.
Harris (H, 2) 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.18
Foley (H, 4) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.59
Lane (S, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.38

Maybe it’s true things happen in threes. First Ara Parseghian, then Dick MacPherson and now another college football coach from long ago passed away. Frank Broyles, who coached Arkansas to the 1964 national championship, passed away. After coaching, he became a color football commentator on TV and Arkansas’ athletic director.

Game 117. The Aaron’s (Hicks & Judge) and the Kraken power Yanks, 4-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Home runs by the Aaron’s (no, not Henry or Tommy) Hicks and Judge and another by Gary (the Kraken) Sanchez powered the Yanks to a 4-2 subway series win over the Mets Monday night.

I was worried about Luis Cessa starting. He pitched half decently tonight but didn’t provide length (see below…injury). There are times I and others wondered “why Cessa again? Why not bring up Chance Adams?” Cessa does appear better suited for middle relief than a starting role. His numbers seem to back that up.

Now to bring up Adams, the Yanks would have to put him on the 40-man and take someone off. Girardi thinks Adams, despite his fine record in the minors (13-3, 1.96 AA/AAA this year), isn’t ready yet. He may or may not have to be ready now, because Cessa got hurt tonight. I know I, and a lot of the fan base, would like to see the kid. And see him over Cessa, no offense to Cessa. With Cessa’s injury, do we now see Adams?

Cessa left the game in the fifth inning with an apparent back injury. Meanwhile, CC Sabathia apparently tried pitching today and may or may not be ready on Saturday. So he’d fit right back in line if he was ready.

Cessa gave up HRs in the third to both ex-Yankee Curtis Granderson and to Yoenis Cespedes to put the Mets up 2-0.

In the fourth, Sanchez hit a SF to cut the lead to 2-1.

Aaron Judge tied the game with HR #36 in the sixth. The strikeouts did continue, but maybe this HR gets him going again.

With the score tied in the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks got HRs from Aaron Hicks (12) and Gary Sanchez (20) to put the game away, 4-2.

For all three, it was their 40th career HR. All three got it in the same game.

Cessa 4 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR. 4.75
Green 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K. 1.95. Been great all year.
Robertson (W, 6-2, 2.30) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Betances (S, 7) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.25

Some further notes. The Yanks may want to bring up someone like Donovan Solano and send Tyler Wade down? Castro will be starting rehab soon and should be back soon, and they need him. Wade, 22, has done well at SWB but is down to .120 and really looks overmatched so far in the majors.

The slump of Judge and the slump of Holliday, combined with the DL stints for Holliday and Castro have really hurt the lineup. 3 homers today helped win the game, but the Yanks will have to be good at playing littleball until some players come back, be it Bird, Holliday and/or Castro.

The win, puts the Yanks at 62-55. With Boston losing, they are now 4 1/2 out in the AL East. They retain the top wild card spot.